NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — For more than 60 years, Naval Support Activity Panama City has invited students to their base for an early Christmas celebration.
Base officials work with Bay District Schools to serve up to 100 students who may not be getting a visit from Santa that year.
Organizer Clara Blake says the counselors at each school select the elementary-aged students who must be on free or reduced lunches to qualify.
This year 89 students from Patronis, Deer Point, Cherry Street, Cedar Grove, Callaway, Breakfast Point, Bozeman, Beach, and West Bay Elementary made the trip to the base Wednesday morning.
“We provide them toys from a wishlist they provide to us and clothes. They will get shoe certificates for each child to purchase a pair of shoes and food certificates for Christmas,” Blake said.
Students left with a bag full of toys and a stocking stuffed to the top with goodies and basic hygiene products.
Students got a chance to talk with Santa, have a dance party and get a tour of the Fire Department on base.
News 13 spoke with multiple students who participated in the event. See what they had to say in the video above.
Students from J.R. Arnold High school were also on hand to make sure the kids have a safe and fun time.